COVID-19: Essential Information

John Bertolini

Ellis Professor Emeritus of English and Liberal Arts


Professor Bertolini gives the Faculty address at the 2007 Senior Awards Ceremony:

JOHN A. BERTOLINI, Professor of English and Film, Middlebury College

Born Dec.1, 1947; Married, 2 children. 66 Morningside Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753

Graduated from Brooklyn Preparatory School, 6/65
B.A. Manhattan College, 6/69
M.A. Columbia University, 6/70
Ph.D. Columbia University, 5/75
Dissertation: "Dramaturgy in Italian and French Renaissance Tragedy"

Manhattan College, Shakespeare play director, 9/69

College of New Rochelle, directed two plays, 2/69 and 9/70

Columbia College, Preceptor in English 9/72-6/73

Barnard College, Instructor Renaissance Studies, spring, 1974

Middlebury College, Assistant Professor of English, 9/75-6/82; Associate Professor, 6/82-6/88

Professor, 6/89-present; full-time teaching: lecture and writing courses; seminars; theses, etc.

Member ALSC, 1996-

Chair, Program in Film, 1990

Chair, Program in Literary Studies, 1981-83, 1986-88, 1991-92, 1994-96

Appointed to Chair as Ellis Professor of the Liberal Arts, 1997

Wonnacott Commons Associate, 1998-99

Chair, English Dept., 1999-2001; Literary Studies 1999-2000


Member ALSC, 1996-

Member editorial board of SHAW Annual (Penn State U.P.), 1994-

President Vermont Association of Scholars, 1994-2000; member NAS, 1994-

Member MLA, 1980-2001

Founding Member and Advisory Council, International Shaw Society, 2001-


The Case for Terence Rattigan, Playwright. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, (reviewed in TLS, etc.).
Man and Superman and Three Other Plays, Intro. And Notes. Barnes & Noble, 2004.  Also published as E-book, 2009.
Pygmalion and Three Other Plays. Intro. And Notes. Barnes & Noble, 2004. Also published as E-book, 2009.
Shaw and Other Playwrights. Ed. Vol. 13 of SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies . The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.
The Playwrighting Self of Bernard Shaw . Southern Illinois University Press, 1991. Reviewed in Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, etc.


"Pirandello and Shaw" forthcoming in Pirandello in Context, ed. Patricia Gaborik, Cambridge U.P., 2019.
“Commentary on ‘George Bernard Shaw and Anesthesia,’ ” Journal of Anesthesia History 2, no. 2 (2016): 33.
“The Shaw Tradition” in Shaw in Context, ed. Brad Kent (Cambridge U.P., 2015), 350-356
Program Note for Rattigan’s Flare Path, Middlebury College, Nov. 2015
Program note for Major Barbara, Middlebury College, October 2010.
Psycho at Fifty: Pure Cinema or Invitation to an Orgy?, New England Review, Volume 31, Number 3 / 2010.
Program essay: “After the Dance Comes the Reckoning” in After the Dance Program. Shaw Festival, Ontario Canada, July 2008 
Also published in NER, V.29, n.2 (2008), pp.35-37
Also published in Shaw Magazine, Fall, 2008, pp.2-5
Program Note for Stoppard’s Jumpers, Middlebury College, April, 2008
“Wilde and Shakespeare in Shaw’s You Never Can Tell,” in SHAW, 27 (pp.156-164). The Pennsylvania State U.P., 2007.
Program essay: “Welcome to Feydeauville” in Hotel Peccadillo program, Shaw Festival, Ontario, Canada, June 2007.
“Shaw Responds to Shaw-bashing,” in SHAW 25 (pp.127-134). The Pennsylvania State U. P., 2005 (originally given at ISS Shaw Conference at USF, March, 2003).
“Tennessee Williams” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature (pp.410-419), ed. Jay Parini. Oxford U.P., 2004. Rev. and expanded, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, forthcoming 2019.
Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw,” in British Writers’ Classics, ed. Jay Parini (pp. 197-213). Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003.
Reprint of “Rear Window, or the Reciprocated Glance” in Framing Hitchcock ed. Sidney Gottlieb. Wayne State University Press, 2002.
“Don Juan’s Past and the Future of the Human Species” New England Review (ed. Stephen Donadio) 23:2, pp.44-47, Spring, 2002

“Terence Rattigan” in British Writers: Retrospective Supplement VII. ED. Jay Parini. Scribner’s, 2002.
“George Bernard Shaw” in British Writers: Retrospective Supplement II. Ed. Jay Parini. Scribner’s, 2002.
Chapter on Man and Superman (from Playwrighting Self) reprinted in George Bernard Shaw’s Plays, ed. Sandie Byrne. A Norton Critical Edition, 2002.
Program Notes for productions of Tartuffe, Arcadia, Don Juan in Hell, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. Middlebury College, 1994-2002.
"Shaw Family Values" in SHAW 16. ed. Dan H. Laurence and Margot Peters. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.
"Rear Window, or the Reciprocated Glance," in The Hitchcock Annual (1995), pp.55-75.
Review --Essay: "London Dramaturgy" on Shaw's drama criticism, in ELT (1994), pp.70-81
"Introduction: Shaw as Mimic and Model" and "Finding Something New to Say: Rattigan Eludes Shaw." SHAW 13. The Pennsylvania State U.P., 1993, pp.1-7, 93-102.
Entries for Henry Sweet, Constance Wilde, and Frank Harris. The Encyclopedia of the 1890s . Garland, 1992.
"The Doctor's Dilemma: The Art of Undoing." Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies 7: The Neglected Plays. Ed. Alfred Turco, Jr. 1987, pp.151-169.
"Imagining Saint Joan." Shaw. Ed. Daniel Leary. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983, pp.149-161.
Rpt. in Man and Superman and Saint Joan . The MacMillan Casebook. Ed. A. M. Gibbs. 1991.

Also rpt. in Major Literary Characters: Joan of Arc . Ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House, 1992.

Also rpt. in George Bernard Shaw (Modern Critical Views), ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House, 2010.
Chapter on Pygmalion (from Playwrighting Self ) reprinted in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (Gale), 1992.
"Fringe and Alternative Theatre in Great Britain." Dictionary of Literary Biography l3. British Dramatists Since World War II, Part 2: M‑Z. BC Research, 1982.
"Shaw's Ironic View of Caesar." Twentieth Century Literature (winter, 1981) Ed. William McBrien, pp.331-342.
Rpt. in Major Literary Characters: Julius Caesar. Ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House, 1992.
"Ecphrasis and Dramaturgy: Leonardo's Leda in Rucellai's Oreste." Renaissance Drama VII (1977). Ed. Joel Kaplan. Northwestern U.P., pp.151-176.


Address to the Annual Terence Rattigan Society Dinner at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on "Teachign Rattigan's Plays over the Decades," July, 2018.

“Mother I Didn’t Mean To, or the Clash of Two Rights in Miller’s All My Sons” Weston Playhouse, VT, April 2016

“The Hitchcock You Don’t Know but YouTube Does,” Middlebury College, September, 2014

Paper: “Shakespeare’s Shadow and Wilde’s Art in Shaw’s You Never Can Tell,” given at ISS Shaw Conference, Brown University, June, 2006 (in revised and extended version, SHAW 27, 2007 .

Graduation Address to Seniors at Awards Ceremony, Middlebury College, May, 2007

Lecture: The Can Can in Cinema (Middlebury College, Spring 2007)

Paper: “Shaw Responds to Shaw-bashing,” given at ISS Shaw Conference at USF, March, 2003) .

Lecture: “The Wisdom of You Never Can Tell” (with Q and A sessions) given at Shaw Festival during 4-day subscription Seminar, August, 2005.

Keynote lecture on the Don Juan tradition at Middlebury College International Symposium on Don Juan and Seduction, April, 2002.

Lecture: “Common Sense about Heartbreak House” given at Shaw Festival during 4-day Shaw subscription seminar, July, 1999; also participated in Q&A sessions

Abernathy lecture: “Hitchcock’s Signature Appearances and What They Mean (or Rumors of La Morte D’Auteur Greatly Exaggerated),” Middlebury College, Spring, 1999

Graduation address to Februaryy Seniors, 1999

Inaugural lecture for Ellis Chair: “Terence Rattigan and the Fate of Modern British Drama,” Middlebury College, 1998

Lecture and Discussion on Shakespeare’s The Tempest to students and staff of LI101, Middlebury College, 1997 and 1999

Presentation of scene from Ozu’s Early Spring at Japanese film symposium, Middlebury College, 1997

Lecture: “How to Know Which Movies Are Good or Bad: An Introduction to Film Appreciation,” Thomas Fellowship, 1997, and Wonnacott Commons, 1998

Panel Presentation on Sense and Sensibility at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 1997

Lecture (joint with Mary Ellen Bertolini) on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as film and novel, Middlebury College, 1997

Lecture on Shaw’s The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles and participant on various panels, as guest scholar at The Shaw Festival, Ontario, Canada, 1996

Panel Presentation for NAS on Political Correctness, Assumption College, 1996

Presentation of a Scene from Poil de Carotte at French Film Symposium, Middlebury College, 1996

Introduction to French Opera, Middlebury College, 1995

Presentation of scene from High Noon at Westerns Symposium, Middlebury College, 1995

Presentation of scene from 8 1/2 at Fellini Symposium, Middlebury College, 1994

Lecture: "Introduction to Italian Opera" for the Italian Club public meeting, fall 1993.

2 panels of new Shaw scholars. Chair. Virginia Tech Conference on "Shaw and the Last Hundred Years." Nov. 1992.

Lecture on Shakespeare and Shaw at Lincoln College. Oxford University, 1990.

Performance/reading of dramatic scenes. Middlebury Alumni College, Summer 1987 and Hawthorne Literary Society, Middlebury, 1989.

Lecture on Rear Window . Middlebury Alumni College, 1988.

Paper on Pygmalion. MLA, 1987.


Member editorial board of the SHAW Annual (Penn State U. Press), 1994-

Research towards and writing of a manuscript on the plays of Terence Rattigan.

Articles on Alfred Hitchcock.

Reviews appearing regularly in ELT, SHAW, and other journals.

Solicited to be reader of manuscripts by University Presses (Michigan, Susquehanna, Florida State)

Solicited to speak at Berkshire Drama Festival

Solicited to apply for chairmanship of the Drama Dept. at Indiana University


Served on the Curriculum Committee, Educational Council, Library Committee

College Service:

Adviser to the American Film Club, 1976-1980

Adviser to the Republicans at Middlebury College, 2007-



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CRWR 0560 - Special Project: Writing      

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

More Information »

CRWR 0701 - Senior Thesis:Creative Writing      

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

More Information »

ENAM 0103 - Reading Literature      

Reading Literature
Please refer to each section for specific course descriptions. CW LIT

Spring 2018

More Information »

ENAM 0239 / FMMC 0239 - The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock      

The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock
We will watch about 20 of Hitchcock’s films with an eye toward understanding why contemporary film directors consider his films exemplary of the greatest cinematic artistry: Hitchcock always finds new ways of telling a story visually by the way he uses his camera especially the subjective camera. We will learn his rules for cinema, such as “the bigger the emotion the bigger the close-up.” We will also define his recurring themes, images, and motifs, such as obsessive love, the wrong man, dangling over the abyss, and a man and a woman saving one another by clasping hands. Among the films we will analyze are his masterpieces, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho. 3 hrs. lect./disc./screening AMR ART LIT NOR

Fall 2017

More Information »

ENAM 0331 - Shakespeare's Comedies      

Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances (I) (Pre-1800)
In this course we will appreciate and closely analyze the development of Shakespeare’s comic vision which distinguishes itself from the tragic vision by insisting that the most important thing about human beings is not that we die but that we fall in love, marry, and have children. We will move from the early Comedies, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice, through the major comedies, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing, (and a Problem Play, Measure for Measure) to the final Romances, Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest, where Shakespeare searches for a way to reconcile the tragic and the comic visions by asking how life can be understandable when it presents us both with the joy of new birth and with the pain of loss and death. EUR LIT

Spring 2019

More Information »

ENAM 0332 - Shakespeare's Histories      

Shakespeare's Tragedies and Histories (I) (Pre-1800)
An intensive consideration of language, style, character, and structure, first in Shakespeare's epic history-play cycle, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, and then in the major tragedies, Hamlet, King Lear, and Anthony and Cleopatra. 3 hrs. lect.; disc; screening EUR LIT

Spring 2018

More Information »

ENAM 0406 - Shaw, Rattigan, Stoppard      

Shaw, Rattigan, Stoppard: the Play of Ideas vs. the Play of Character and Situation
In the early 20th Century George Bernard Shaw, following Ibsen’s model, sought to introduce the Play of Ideas into British Drama, i.e., plays that dramatized current philosophical and social issues. We will study his Man and Superman as representative of such drama. At the mid-century Terence Rattigan argued against Shaw that plays should be about people and tell stories, not about ideas. We shall read plays of his, such as The Winslow Boy and The Browning Version to understand his art of implication and understatement. Shaw and Rattigan’s argument has played itself out in the dazzling late 20th century plays of Tom Stoppard who starts as a playwright of ideas. We shall try to understand where he and the debate come out in a play such as his Arcadia. 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2017

More Information »

ENAM 0500 - Special Project: Lit      

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022

More Information »

ENAM 0700 - Senior Thesis:Critical Writing      

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

ENAM 0708 - Joint Senior Work: ENAM-THEA      

Senior Work: Joint Majors in English & American Literatures and Theatre
Approval required.

Fall 2017

More Information »

LITS 0500 - Independent Research Project      

Independent Research Project
(Approval Required) (Staff)

Spring 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

LITS 0510 - Independent Essay Project      

Independent Essay Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

LITS 0700 - Senior Comprehensive Exam      

Senior Comprehensive Exam
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the written section of the senior comprehensive examinations.

Winter 2019

More Information »

LITS 0710 - Senior Honors Essay      

Senior Honors Essay
(Approval Required)

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

Department of English & American Literatures